Jelly Telly

Yikes! It’s been almost a week since my last post. My apologies. Things have been pretty crazy here. Earlier this week I even had to pull an all-nighter to meet a big deadline. (I must be getting older. Those all-nighters are getting a lot more grueling than they used to be.)

Fans of VeggieTales might appreciate this: Phil Vischer, the creator of VeggieTales, is starting a new venture called Jelly Telly. The ground work is still being laid, but the plan is to create a launching pad for quality Christian entertainment for kids. You can read all about it on Vischer’s blog. Click on the “What is Jelly Telly?” button and you can read a fascinating 5-part post about the current state of children’s entertainment and specifically Christian media. It’s long but well worth the read.

To get things rolling, Jelly Telly is looking for Flash animators and motion graphic artists to create bumpers using the Jelly Telly logo. They can’t pay for the work, so you’d be signing away all rights for nothing but a little exposure. Still, if you are excited about the possibilities Jelly Telly could provide you might want to take part.

Or, if you just want to share artwork and ideas or follow the goings-on, join the Jellyfish Labs online community site. Here’s my page. However, before contributing be sure to read the Terms of Use. They basically state that any artwork and ideas you submit become the property of Jelly Telly. I wish that wasn’t the case but I suppose that’s the only way they can effectively prevent themselves from getting sued down the line.

Normally I strongly urge artists to avoid contests, promotions, and other gimmicks that require them to give away their work and ideas for nothing. However, I really believe in what Jelly Telly is trying to do. Besides, this is not the normal “give me artwork for free and maybe you’ll get some (worthless) exposure” scenario. Usually when someone wants free artwork it’s because they are looking to take advantage of young up-and-comers who are desperate for a chance to get a little experience. Vischer is different. He acknowledges that there’s a lot of poor-to-mediocre Christian media out there and he’s looking to raise the bar. The sense I get is that he is primarily interested in contributors who have a lot of talent/experience and who can afford to give a little free work because they are already established. So as distasteful as it is to me in this case I’d say if you want to give it a try, go for it.  I enjoy dabbling in Flash and might even try to develop a bumper myself, under two conditions:

1. I come up with a simple but clever idea.

2. I find a little free time.

Right now it would take a minor miracle for the second one to happen, but here’s hoping. In any case, I’ll be watching the progress at Jelly Telly closely and hoping it takes off.